Holding Lumps of Coal, Dems Demand GOP Reauthorize CHIP - NBC New York
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Holding Lumps of Coal, Dems Demand GOP Reauthorize CHIP

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    Holding Lumps of Coal, Dems Demand GOP Reauthorize CHIP
    Win McNamee/Getty Images
    Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) holds up a symbolic piece of coal for the holiday season during a press conference with the Democratic Women’s Working Group on the Children’s Health Insurance Program at the U.S. Capitol Dec. 20, 2017, in Washington, DC. The coal was used to symbolize the Democratic contention that Republican members of Congress need to "drop their partisan CHIP reauthorization and adopt reasonable offsets to ensure nine million children keep their health care."

    Gripping lumps of coal, Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday demanded Republicans act before the holidays to reauthorize coverage for millions of children in low-income families whose health insurance is at risk of running out.

    Legislators missed the Sept. 30 deadline to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, a federal program that provides inexpensive health insurance to 9 million children and pregnant women who don't qualify for Medicaid yet can't afford private insurance.

    "We must do it very soon," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Wednesday. "All of these children are our children. They're America's children."

    Numerous states have already sent out notices to CHIP recipients warning them that funds will run out as early as next month, and that they will have to shutter the program if Congress doesn't act.